Francois Hougaard commits long-term future to Worcester
By Paul Vinnell
Last Updated: 15/03/16 1:56pm
South Africa scrum-half Francois Hougaard has signed a permanent deal to remain with Worcester.
Hougaard, 27, joined the club on a short-term contract in February and has impressed coach Dean Ryan to such an extent that he was offered a long-term deal at Sixways.
The two-time Super Rugby title winner with the Bulls will link up with South Africa's Sevens side for the Rio Olympics but will be back at Worcester ahead of next season.
"Francois has come in and had a huge influence on the side in such a short space of time," Ryan told the club's website.
"You can see the difference he has made to the squad and that comes from a wealth of experience from his time in Super Rugby and playing internationally.
"We're delighted he's decided to be a part of our journey and we hope he can be a catalyst for us moving forward."
Worcester are 10th in the Aviva Premiership table but ought to cement their top-flight status with London Irish well adrift.
Hougaard, who has won 35 Springboks caps, said: "I haven't been here long but I've become really fond of Worcester.
"There are incredible facilities and the club have great ambitions which is something I'm really excited about being a part of.
"There are a great bunch of players here and they've made the transition very smooth since coming from South Africa Sevens.
"Now my aim is to help drive Warriors up the Aviva Premiership table and to achieve our long-term goal of becoming a top European side."